Basic plumbing skills would be useful. Good agility and
dexterity are essential to work in cramped conditions.
Ensure all metal pipes and the bath (if metal) are bonded to
a common earth. Take care when using a blowlamp. Keep
naked flames away from flammable material. Make sure that
the water is off and well drained before placing a lead lamp
near the underside of the taps. If possible, use a water-
resistant double-insulated lamp. When working upside down,
wear eye protection.
Changing taps can give a new lease of life to a bathroom
suite or kitchen, and modern fittings make the job a lot
easier than it used to be.
The most difficult part is removing old taps which, in
bathrooms, may be puttied in. On a workbench it would be a
fairly easy job but the inaccessibility makes it awkward, so
don't rush into it. Invest a little time in getting comfortable,
and you will work faster with less strain. Get a good light so
you can see exactly what you are doing and, if you have to
lie on your back, use a cushion for your head.
- Getting Started
Make sure you turn the water off properly before you begin.
Once the old taps are out, things become easier because you
can use new, user-friendly fittings.
If you are fitting new taps at the same time as fitting a new
sink or bath, it is easier to fit the taps before you put the
sink/bath in place. Sometimes you can attach whole sections
of pipework as well.
Not all taps are suitable for British-style low-pressure
systems which use a tank in the loft. So check before
buying. Continental taps are made for mains pressure. If
you have an unvented water cylinder or combination boiler,
then Continental taps should work well. If you have a tank in
the loft, it is best to stick to British-made taps.
- Service valves
Tap connectors can be
substituted for integral
service valves to provide an
easy means of shutting off
the water. The top end fits
onto the tap and the bottom